UK: English Defence League Promotes “Christian Culture” by Anti-Islam Riots, Violence

Responsible for Equality And Liberty (R.E.A.L.) supports our universal human rights of freedom of religion, freedom of conscience, and freedom of worship for ALL people — without exception – in the United States and around the world.

The Anti-Islam organization in the United Kingdom known as the English Defence League or “EDL” led protests on Saturday October 9 in Leicester. The EDL has a history of violent protests and riots in their anti-Islam demonstrations throughout the United Kingdom.  The EDL protests and riots are rarely mentioned by the United States news media.

Photo Below: EDL Anti-Islam Protest in Leicester and Smoke Bombs Thrown at Police (Photo: YouTube)

Some have joined the EDL due to their fears and concerns about other extremists in the United Kingdom rationalizing anti-human rights views, violent plots, and terrorist acts based on their interpretation of Islam.  But the EDL does not merely challenge such extremists or terrorists – its has an anti-Islam campaign.  Such anti-Islam extremism has come to attract those who believe that EDL extremism of their own, even violence, is justified.  Others supporting the EDL seek to look the other way, excuse their violence, or rationalize their violence as the ends justifies the means. R.E.A.L. urges all people to re-examine the power of hate in their lives, and choose love, not hate.

The EDL lead spokesman, using the pseudonym “Tommy Robinson,” claimed that the EDL’s efforts are to defend “Christian culture” in the United Kingdom. Mr. Robinson’s speech included defending the dignity of the Christian Bible while using the “F-word” in the same sentence repeatedly. Such vulgar language was repeatedly a part of Mr. Robinson’s speech in support of “Christian culture” and against Islam and British Muslims.  In Mr. Robinson’s speech, he also claims to be harassed by the British police who are investigating him and friends for criminal charges involving money laundering and other crimes, which have been discussed online.  When the Stop Islamization of America (SIOA) group’s leader invited the EDL to join the 9/11 protest against the Islamic Center in NYC, Mr. Robinson was not allowed into the country by U.S. Homeland Security.  While Mr. Robinson spoke, his supporters waved a signing reading “no more mosques.”

Photo Below: EDL Leader “Tommy Robinson” Defends UK’s Christian Culture with the “F-Word,” Attacking Muslims (Photo: YouTube)

The British Home Secretary permitted the EDL to have a “static protest” on October 9, but the protest soon grew into marauding riots against Leicester business, against the British police, against the news media, and against women and children.  The EDL views that such “protests” are to defend “Christian culture,” according to their leader Tommy Robinson.

The October 9 protests reportedly included EDL protesters throwing bricks, smoke bombs, and fireworks at police, with one UK police officer injured and requiring hospitalization.   Amateur photographers and news media alike captured videos of EDL confrontations with the British police.

Photo Below: EDL Rioters Run Amok in Street, EDL Protesters Gathering, and EDL Smoke Bombs Against British Police (Photos: YouTube)

Photo Below: EDL Protesters Pushing Riot Police; Leicester Stores with Boarded-Up Windows in Background (Photo: Fil Kaler/YouTube)

Photo Below: Police Officer Attacked During EDL Riots in Leicester (Photo: Sky News)

Sky News reported the violent EDL rioters attacked Sky News reporters who fled to a Sky News van that the EDL protester then attacked. Sky News is a media outlet of conservative media conglomerate News Corp along with the American-based media outlet FOX News.  Sky News reported “Four members of the Sky News team were forced to lock themselves inside a satellite truck as demonstrators banged their fists on the windscreen during the disorder.”

Photo Below: UK’s Sky News Reports of EDL Rioters Attacking the News Media and a Police Car (Photo: YouTube/Sky News)

The Sky News reporter Robin Powell stated the police “completely lost control” as 200 EDL rioters “ran amok” down the street and the “Sky News truck was attacked,” “we had to lock ourselves in the truck, and these protesters then proceeded to smash up some of our equipment…”  Sky News stated “Powell said around 200 EDL protesters broke through a police cordon at the end of the demonstration and attacked the Sky News truck and a police car.” Robin Powell also reported that “Protesters started to charge against the cordon and it was clear the police were not going to be able to hold them back… Around 200 youths were running amok in the centre of Leicester, smashing a police car.”

EDL rioters also terrorized women and children inside fast-food outlet Big John’s restaurant, according to the Leicester News: “Before they were rounded up by police a group of EDL supporters attacked the Big John’s fast food restaurant, in Humberstone Road. Usman Ali, area manager for the chain, said: ‘They smashed four windows and came inside the shop and frightened our customers.’ A witness from North Evington, said: ‘I was with friends getting something to eat.’ ‘People saw them coming and someone locked the door. They smashed some windows and one of the EDL people kicked the door open and stood there threatening people.'”

Photo Below: Images of EDL Rioters Smashing Windows and Terrorizing Restaurant Patrons (Photos: YouTube)

The EDL rioters smashing restaurant windows, slamming open the restaurant door, and threatening patrons was partially captured on video, with police officers rushing to the scene to protect innocent restaurant customers from the EDL rioters.  In the video, a British police officer warns the restaurant patrons to “stay away from the windows” as EDL rioters had attacked the windows; the EDL rioters begin to flee as the police begin to take control of the area.

Throughout Leicester, the EDL rioters sought to engage in fights with counterprotesters, but police officers intervened to prevent further violence.  The EDL rioters have posted numerous videos online, proud of their fights, calling themselves the “famous English Defence League.”

Many of the Leicester area stores boarded-up their window for fear of damage during the EDL riots.  But such efforts were not enough for some businesses, where EDL rioters smashed by attacking second story windows. The Leicester Mercury also reported that EDL rioters smashed second-story windows at the International Arts Center, by throwing “bottles and other items.”

Photo Below: Terrorized Britons Board-Up Windows Against Attack from EDL Rioters (Photos: YouTube)

UK and the Growing Threat of Anti-Islam Extremist Violence by the EDL

The EDL has been associated with violent protests in April 2010 tearing down police barricades, and again in July 2010 throwing bricks at police officers.  One EDL member was even arrested for suspicion a terrorist plot against a UK mosque.  The EDL was once again involved in a violent protest on August 28, two weeks before some EDL members traveled to the United States to join the Stop Islamization of America (SIOA) 9/11 NYC protest against the Park Place Islamic Center.  EDL leader Tommy Robinson was denied access to the United States by Homeland Security.   The EDL violent hatemongering has been captured on video and can been seen on YouTube. Some EDL members proudly display swastikas and “Heil Hitler.”

YouTube Version of Video Report on EDL

Photo Below: Anti-Islam EDL Scream at British Riot Police (Photo: YouTube)

Photo Below: Anti-Islam EDL Threaten Racial Minorities (Photo: YouTube)

In April 2010, the Daily Mail reported on the EDL riots against a planned mosque in Dudley, violently breaking through police barriers, resulting in the panic attack of an elderly woman who had been shopping in the area.   2,000 members of the EDL were involved in a violent protest in Dudley, UK against the plans to build a mosque there, and during the protest the Daily Mail reported on EDL clashes with riot police.

Photo Below: Anti-Islam EDL Breaks Down Police Barriers in Anti-Mosque Riot (Photo: PA Wire/David Jones)

The Daily Mail reported that “The EDL protesters managed to break out of the car park by pulling down fences and barging their way past riot police officers. About half the group then ran off through the town. Lines of riot police officers fought running battles with protesters as they tried to contain the mob who pulled down barriers blocking off roads. Nick Mainwood, 42, from Oldbury, West Midlands, said he tried to help an elderly woman who suffered a panic attack during the protest.”

In May 2010, the EDL returned to Dudley and took over the roof of a building in Dudley that was planned to be used as a local mosque.  In May, the continuing extremist tactics led the local Dudley authorities and Muslim association to decide not to pursue a planned mosque construction.  This decision provided motivation for the EDL to continue to use extremist tactics.  (In September 2010, the Dudley Muslim Association sought to revisit this decision.)

The EDL extremist efforts in Dudley were widely praised by the leader of the Stop Islamization of America group leader Pamela Geller, who has led a campaign against the Park Place Islamic Center in New York City and other mosques.

Like the SIOA, the EDL has used Facebook to help organize their efforts.

In July 2010, the Birmingham Mail reported on EDL supporters “throwing bricks and metal security fences at riot police.”

Photo Below: Anti-Islam EDL in Protest Where Police Officer Struck with Bricks (Photo: Birmingham Mail)

Police and the EDL clash as running battles took place in Dudley.

The Birmingham Mail reported that “Around 500 EDL supporters gathered on Stafford Street waving England flags and shouting anti-Islamist chants. Violence flared as police attempted to get the protesters back on to buses at the end of the demonstration as they threw bricks and metal security fences at riot police. Several shops and cars in the town were damaged and police said they would trawl through hours of CCTV footage to find the offenders.”  “A witness told the Birmingham Mail the car had been surrounded by EDL supporters and the driver hit the accelerator to escape.”

In July 2010, the UK Sun reported on EDL members that had been arrested and questioned on plot against a mosque, but were then released due to insufficient evidence.  The Sun reported that “Armed police opened fire on a van as they swooped on a far-right group suspected of plotting to blow up a mosque. Cops used special tyre deflation rounds to disable a Ford Escort van driven by English Defence League official John Broomfield. Officers smashed a window and hauled the suspect out while he was stuck in traffic near the picturesque tourist spot of Corfe Castle, Dorset. Police then raided Mr Broomfield’s home in nearby Swanage and seized computer equipment, mobile phones and passports. Five more English Defence League members and another person were also arrested in simultaneous raids at several addresses. The suspects were questioned about an alleged conspiracy to bomb a mosque in Bournemouth. All were later released without charge.”

On August 28, 2010, AFP reported on yet another EDL anti-Islam protest in Bradford, UK, where “Members of the English Defence League (EDL) threw bottles, stones and smoke bombs during violent scenes as police struggled to keep the two sides apart.”

Photo Below: Anti-Islam EDL in Violent Protest in August 2010

The EDL and the United States

But the EDL is largely unknown in the United States, and U.S. anti-Islam and some conservative groups have promoted the EDL, defended the EDL, invited the EDL to join U.S. anti-mosque protests, and seek to collaborate with the EDL.

The anti-Islam Stop Islamization of America (SIOA) group has repeated praised and promoted the EDL.  The SIOA group, led by Pamela Geller, has stated that “If I lived in England, I would surely be active in the EDL Jewish division.”

The SIOA leader in America has promoted the EDL for years on her blog “Atlas Shrugs,” which can be seen by a Google search of that blog for EDL or for English Defence League.

Furthermore, the SIOA leader has regularly urged others to join the EDL group, and SIOA supporters have spoken of a planned “American version of the EDL” to be created.

Image Below: SIOA Executive Director Promotes English Defence League (EDL) Group (Photo: Facebook)

The SIOA leader also invited EDL members to join the SIOA group on September 11, 2010 in New York City in the SIOA’s protest against the Park Place Islamic Center.   On August 30, 2010, Newsweek wrote an article that questioned the SIOA leader’s invitation to the EDL group associated with such numerous riots and violence, entitled “N.Y. Anti-Mosque Leader Defends Group That Clashed With British Police.”

SIOA leader Geller defended her decision to invite the EDL to join the 9/11 protest.

With the limited reporting on the EDL in the United States news media, few were aware of the EDL’s violence against police, and those EDL members that attended the 9/11 SIOA protest appeared to be on their best behavior.  The EDL leader “Tommy Robinson” was not allowed into the country by U.S. Homeland Security.

Photos Below: EDL Members that Get into the USA Join the SIOA’s NYC Protest Against Islamic Center (Photo: YouTube)

Photo Below: On 9/11/2010 in NYC, While EDL Member Poses Near Police in New York City Who Have No Idea Who They Are, EDL Rioters Are Attacking Police Car in United Kingdom (Photo: YouTube)

On 9/11, while EDL members were in NYC joining the protesters against the Park Place Islamic Center, in the UK, BBC reported on an EDL demonstration on 9/11 in UK where “up to 50 supporters threw bottles at a police car at about 1315 BST, a Greater Manchester Police spokesman said, “leading to “eight arrests at English Defence League event in Oldham.

The UK EDL also had a protest outside the U.S. Embassy in London, along with Muslim counterprotesters where a group called the “Muslims against Crusaders” burned an American flag and a photo of Florida Christian Pastor Terry Jones who was planning to hold a Qur’an burning in Florida.

Photo Below: On 9/11/2010 in the UK, EDL Supporters Have Very Different Tone With British Police Outside the US Embassy in London (Photo: YouTube)

AFP reported that the EDL was “recently linked to the burning of a Koran in northern England to mark the anniversary of the September 11 attacks.”  In September 2010, the Guardian reported of the arrest of six men in Gateshead, UK regarding burning of a Qur’an, at bar associated with EDL regulars.  The Daily Mail reported that “All six of those held claim to be members of the English Defence League, a far-Right group opposed to the spread of Islamism.”  (They were released without charge.)

A group calling itself the “American Defence League” has claimed to start to make such an effort at creating its own “EDL” in the United States. Note the UK English spelling of “defense” as “defence” in the group’s Facebook group name and graphics.

The American Defense League is in contact with supporters of the EDL and they are promoting one another.  Other copy-cat groups are being created in Canada and Sweden, among other regions.

The American Defense League promoted the EDL’s October 9 protest in Leicester, which led to riots and attacks on the police, the news media, and women and children.

On September 22, 2010, the right-wing Hudson Institute published an article by A. Millar, entitled “The English Defense League: The New Face of Europe?,” which has 557 people on Facebook who “like” this article. The Hudson Institute’s “A. Millar” believes that the EDL has the potential of “bringing the diverse groups of society together, in support of national tradition, liberty, and democracy — the movement might one day be the new face of Europe.”

The Hudson Institute’s A. Millar also maintains his own blog, “European Son.” He describes his blog and himself as “European Son is the blog of neoconservative writer A. Millar. He is a regular contributor to Hudson New York, The Brussels Journal, The Weekly Blitz (Bangladesh), and All Right Magazine (USA), among others. His work has also been published by, The International Free Press Society, and others. He has lived in the UK, USA, and Canada.”  At Taki’s Magazine, the Hudson Institute’s A. Millar has previous written in defense of members of the British National Party and condemning the UK Race Relations Act.

Regarding the EDL, the Hudson Institute’s A. Millar views the EDL with pride, concluding “with members of the EDL holding their flags with pride, putting their arms around men and women of every age and ethnicity, it seemed that the nationalism of the EDL was a cousin of American nationalism, in which everyone can be proud of his nation, and of being a citizen, under the flag of the nation.”

As previously mentioned, the EDL also seeks to recruit new members from the Jewish community, although during his latest speech EDL’s Tommy Robinson sought to defend the UK’s “Christian culture.”

On June 4, 2010, the British Jewish Community Security Trust, wrote an article condemning such a “Jewish Division” of the EDL. The article was entitled “The English Defence League: bigotry and hate.” It referenced a British Jewish Chronicle article entitled “EDL step up their Jewish recruitment.”

On October 10, 2010, the Guardian reported that the EDL has invited a California rabbi to speak at an upcoming rally by the EDL in a Guardian article “English Defence League forges links with America’s Tea Party.” The Guardian article referenced that the California rabbi invited to speak is “Rabbi Nachum Shifren, a regular speaker at Tea Party conventions.

The EDL web site promotes a Sunday, October 24, 2010 event outside the Israeli embassy in London, where Rabbi Nachum Shifren has been asked to speak to the EDL members against Islam.  The EDL views the rabbi as “a warrior,” who is “is set to arrive in the UK in mid October, in order to join his voice of concern to those of the EDL, and expose the threat of world Islamization.”

Image Below: Screen Shot from EDL Web Site on Rabbi Shifren

On October 14, 2010, the Associated Press reported that “Roberta Moore, an English Defense League activist who has formed a “Jewish division” of the group. She said the rabbi will speak at an Oct. 24 rally in London. ‘He plans to speak about the dangers of Islamification both in this country and in America,’ Moore told The Associated Press. ‘He will talk about the issues we have with immigration and the danger of Sharia law coming to the UK. We have the same objectives as the groups in the USA, and we want to exchange information and work with them.'”

Rabbi Shifren told AP: “I see England going down and I want to cry out and do everything I can to prevent that, to work with the EDL”

AP also reported that “Matthew Goodwin, a University of Nottingham professor and author of a new book about extremist groups in Britain, said the links being developed with American activists are potentially important. ‘We’re seeing groups across Europe trying to form a transnational challenge to Islam,’ he said.”

The October 10, 2010 Guardian article on the topic reported on the EDL “The league has also developed links with Pamela Geller, who was influential in the protests against plans to build an Islamic cultural centre near Ground Zero. Geller, darling of the Tea Party’s growing anti-Islamic wing, is advocating an alliance with the EDL. The executive director of the Stop Islamisation of America organisation, she recently met EDL leaders in New York and has defended the group’s actions, despite a recent violent march in Bradford.  Geller, who denies being anti-Muslim, said in one of her blogs: ‘I share the EDL’s goals… We need to encourage rational, reasonable groups that oppose the Islamisation of the west.'”

On October 14, 2010, the AP also reported on SIOA’s Pamela Geller’s support for the EDL, but stated that she claims not to have met with EDL members, reporting: “Geller said she supports the English group’s approach but has not met with its leaders or agreed to any joint projects.”

The anti-Islam Stop Islamization of America (SIOA) group has repeated praised and promoted the EDL.  The SIOA group, led by Pamela Geller, has stated that “If I lived in England, I would surely be active in the EDL Jewish division.”

R.E.A.L. has previously reported on the transnational efforts to promote Islamophobia by the Stop Islamization of Europe (SIOE) group that organized the America Stop Islamization of America (SIOA) group as “Islamophobia United.”


Responsible for Equality And Liberty (R.E.A.L.) supports our universal human rights of religious freedom, freedom of conscience, and freedom of worship for all people.  R.E.A.L. respects all identity groups and the right to diverse religions, as part of our family of humanity.  R.E.A.L. rejects hatred and rejects the activities of those who seek to promote hatred towards identity groups and specific religions.

R.E.A.L. rejects those who call for violence and who support violent protest organizations.

To those who believe that they can challenge extremism with extremism of their own, R.E.A.L. recognizes that human rights is based on promotion of our SHARED human rights and human dignity, never with extremism, never with hate, never with threats, and never with violence.

We urge all those who hate to release the burden of hate from their hearts, and respect their fellow human beings and our universal human rights.

We urge all to Choose Love, Not Hate – Love Wins.

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